We believe in Giving Back

Here at Dolomite Mountains, we believe in the value of sharing our love of the mountains and natural places with others – but also know we need to take care of them if they are to be here for future generations. We employ sustainable practices in our daily operations – everything from recycling in our offices and leaving only footprints on our adventures. We select hotels that adhere to environmentally sustainable standards wherever possible, and even feature two CasaClima hotels in our accommodation options. (CasaClima is a building certification that establishes a standard for energy efficiency that follows the Kyoto Protocol and a standard for use of sustainable resources.) And we support several worthy organizations that contribute to the betterment of societies and their environs around the world.

There are four organizations that we partner with directly:

We encourage you to learn more about them (see below), and if you are feel their work is as important as we do, to help us support their efforts. 


100 BLUE ANGELS / THE OCEAN FOUNDATION
Wallace “J.” Nichols is an independent scientist that has one main purpose in life:  to save our oceans.  His involvement in a number of conservation projects was born out of a lifelong love of nature.  Fueled by his passion, he has worked tirelessly to fulfill his commitment to maintaining abundant life in the oceans and on the coasts.  His work is funded by a number of generous donors and organizations that believe in his cause.  One such organization is The Ocean Foundation, which Dolomite Mountains is proud to support. 

The Ocean Foundation’s mission is to support, strengthen, and promote those organizations and individuals that are dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world.  The goal is to promote healthy ocean ecosystems and benefit the human communities that depend on them.   The Ocean Foundation provides the fiscal sponsorship for eleven projects that J. Nichols is involved with.

Several years ago our founder, Agustina Lagos Marmol, met “J.” at an ATTA event during which he handed out a blue marble to each person in attendance.  These marbles were to be re-gifted as a “thank you” to others who do their part to make a difference to both the planet and in the lives of others.  Agustina was moved by this gesture and the powerful meaning behind it, as well as the important and valuable work Dr. Nichols does to help the environment – so much so that she decided to become one of the first “100 Blue Angels” and support both J. Nichols and the Ocean Foundation.

Being located in one of the most breathtaking natural settings in the world isn’t lost on us.  At Dolomite Mountains we know all too well how important conservation efforts are for the earth and our fragile environment.  That’s why this cause is so near and dear to our hearts.  We believe in what Dr. Nichols does and are inspired by how he dedicates his life to the preservation of our oceans.  We also believe that in the travel business we should always be aware of the impact we have when developing and promoting any area in which we work.  As such, we are proud to support this worthy cause and encourage others to join us in our ongoing efforts to give back and make a difference in our world.


SUMMITS4KIDS
SUMMITS4KIDS is a non-profit association born from the will to make a little difference in the inequalities of today’s world. Formed by three world-class female skiers, SUMMITS4KIDS supports carefully selected small, honest, local humanitarian programs that assist boys and girls in need. Organizations are typically led by native adults from the community in the roles of teachers, doctors, and psychologists.

These three women, Swiss freeskier Laura Bohleber, Swedish freefrider Marja Persson, and Italian freeskier and Dolomite Mountains guide Giulia Monego, have spent time exploring mountains all over the world. Coming from wealthy countries where they’ve had the ability to turn their passion into their jobs, they have witnessed the contrasts of modern globalization where young people from other countries do not have the same opportunities, and in fact face challenges as extreme as having to worry about where their next meal will come from.

Athletes participating in SUMMITS4KIDS projects pay their own travel expenses, in addition to actively fundraising, and nearly 100% of donations made to SUMMITS4KIDS go directly to the local humanitarian projects that we have chosen to help. (Only a small portion of funds used to pay the operating costs of the association itself – website, postage, etc.) 
In the future, SUMMITS4KIDS aim not only to continue to launch new challenge projects, but also to maintain support for the organizations in Ecuador and Peru that they already work with. In order to continue the work these magnificent women have begun, they need your support. More information about the organization and how to make a donation can be found online at http://www.summits4kids.org/.


LA LIGA
La Liga (The League) is a volunteer organization that provides clothing and household goods to the members of the community surrounding Estancia San Juan de Quillen, the home of Caballadas.

Quillen’s Liga was born thanks to the tenacity, loving and caring of three sisters: Ofelia, Elena, and Lola Lagos Mármol, daughters of the Estancia’s founder, Don Juan Lagos Mármol. Their mission was to help the people that worked at the ranch, and the Mapuche native communities from the surrounding area. La Liga started in a large room at the very end of a barn, where family and friends would donate clothing, which was later distributed for free among the estancia staff and other people in need.

When Lola passed away, Rosa Moreno (the wife of Don Juan’s son, Jorge Lagos Mármol) decided to take her place and continue the charity. Rosa was then 22 years old, and quickly realized that people were not taking care of the clothing that was being given to them for free. She decided that if they charged a small fee, the people might appreciate what was being given to them a bit more. After this, people immediately began to take only what they needed, started to be more careful with the items that they selected, and valued them more.

At the same time, Rosa asked the family to increase their financial donations, so La Liga could buy other items such as sewing machines, wood burning stoves, cooking utensils, sleeping mattresses, blankets, and other basic items for the home. When the locals purchased any of these more expensive items, La Liga would assist them by financing the sale, allowing them to make long-term payments. With all the money that was collected, Rosa travelled to Buenos Aires and bought lots of goods, which were sent back to the ranch by train and trucks and provided to the community.

Forty-five years after La Liga’s birth, Rosa continues her hard work providing clothing to all the people in need in Quillen and neighboring areas.


THE PAROCHIAL AGROTECHNICAL SCHOOL OF THE SACRED FAMILY 
The Parochial Agrotechnical School of the Sacred Family is a public institution, offering educational opportunities in agricultural studies to the community surrounding Estancia San Juan de Quillen, the home of Caballadas.

Father Valerio, the school’s founder, began his work in 1995, opening the first Agrotechnical School for youth who come from challenging backgrounds. He focused all of his attention on children from rural areas, and from neighboring Mapuche native Indian communities from the Aluminé area of the Neuquén Province. These children did not otherwise have the opportunity to attend school, or the ability to change their socioeconomic status.

The school consists of a six-year term, with the opportunity to graduate in two majors:

  • Agriculture Technician with an animal livestock orientation.
  • Agriculture technician with a vegetable / produce orientation.

Federal public funding is scarce in this area. While the state provides some funding, it is used primarily to pay teacher’s salaries and for the student’s food and housing. The school’s association is in charge of providing the rest of the funding. The challenge here is that this is a public school, free to all who attend, but its legal status lists it as a private institution, and therefore very little assistance or funding is granted by the state or federal government. It is the sole responsibility of the school, its associates, and private donors to spread the word about our school and its objectives, and to help us fund this incredible education program.

The youth that are currently attending our programs come from different places around our area. Their family economic situations do not allow them to afford an education, much less all that is needed to attend school. Things such as books, stationery, clothing, and linens, are just a few of the items outside funding is used to purchase... School days are from Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm. On Friday afternoon, the students head back to their family homes, and return to school on Sunday afternoon.

It is our wish to find help and support for these youth so they can have access to a decent education, with the hope of finding dignity in their work as part of their human development.